Today I decided to write a second installment of a post I titled, “Love is controversial.”
Love is this beautiful concept that transcends religions, cultures, governments, and genres of music. Love is something that everyone understands to some small level. Everyone has a deep need of love and desire to give love. It’s what we’re created to do!
However, love is controversial. I don’t mean the arguing that erupts when someone says “I love Nickelback.” I’m talking about true, real love. The stuff God created and freely doles out to the pitiful wretches He created way back when–that kind of love is controversial.
In that first installment, I talked about how Jesus loves the LBGT community*. Yesterday, in my post about evil, I talked about how we are to love al Qaeda, a common group of people we might consider an enemy.
Today I’m reminded that we are called to love the destitute, the bankrupt, the down-and-out. Jesus asks us, if we only love those who love us, what’s the big deal?
Who is it hard for you to love?
For me, the person I come into contact with the most regularly who makes it difficult for me to love is the long talker. You know, the kind of person Seinfeld would make a character out of, like the low talker or the close talker.
The long talker is someone who starts at 50 mph and seems like they’re already 10 minutes into a conversation with you. (And I’m usually like, “Uh, hi?”) The long talker is the person I try to avoid at all costs. [Picture this next sentence in a dumb voice.] “Oh, something interesting is on my coat and now I’m going to look at it as I walk around the grocery store. Hmmm, interesting.”
No one wants to love people who make it difficult for others to love. But that’s missing the point of the extravagant love God has for each person. Christ followers are called to love and accept people. That doesn’t mean we put our stamp of approval on everything everyone does. It means that somehow we love and accept them for who they are without putting restrictions on it. God loves us before we even had the chance to sin. God is patient for us to grow closer to Christ, no matter what our lifestyle. (Or talking style!)
That’s all, folks. Jesus got criticized to death for loving the kinds of people He spent time with. They knew what He stood for. They would have known what His expectations and standards were. Yet people still loved being around Jesus because He genuinely loved them.
A pitiful wretch who has sinned (just like others) but is loved beyond understanding
*Somehow Jesus loved and accepted tax collectors (traitors to their country) and prostitutes (traitors to their bodies) for who they were—WITHOUT putting restrictions on His love. God is patient for us to grow closer to Christ, no matter what our lifestyle.